You are so amazing! How executive coach Shefali Raina lives with intentionality.

Please add the entire text of y

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

– Marianne Williamson, Our Deepest Fear

These words give Shefali Raina goosebumps. Knowing your power is a beautiful and elusive thing. It is hard to grasp and even when you do, living into it can be uncomfortable. Shefali has made it her life’s work to help people live with intention. She is an executive coach who is incredibly clear on what she wants from her own life.

“Think about three things,” she says. “How to be more successful at what you do, how to be more joyful in every part of your life, and how to feel that sense of meaning. Really think about how you can be more intentional about the choices you are making.”

Prior to becoming an executive coach, Shefali’s career had soared from New Delhi to Manila, Tokyo to New York. She held positions as chief operating officer and managing director in financial services and consulting. It was twenty years into her exciting career when another job opportunity came her way. But rather than energizing her, the prospect of further elevation triggered questions and gave her pause.

“I was pretty much living the traditional Indian immigrant life,” she recounts. “Leave the country, hustle hard, become successful, make a lot of money, have an impact. But with this opportunity I felt, ‘Oh my God, will I now spend another twenty years like this? Do I want to live a LinkedIn life or do I want to live my life?’”

In search of answers, Shefali immersed herself in journaling. What did she really want? What gave her energy? How might she spend her day if she were in a state of flow? What was the opportunity cost of her choices?

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

“There\’s a Seth Godin question that I\’ve always loved,” she shares. “‘What would you do if you knew you would fail?’ The biggest, hardest challenge for me was that my identity was connected to what I did and where I worked. It was the only way I knew how to introduce myself. Who am I if I am not the title? It’s just me. This is it. I am it. But am I enough?”

It all began in a Word document on her computer where she recorded her thoughts daily. Here was an accomplished, respected professional, thinking about a pivot that had nothing to do with her corporate life. She realized that she loved forming deep connections with people, partnering with them to shape and enable their impact. She realized that she felt joy in depth and mastery, particularly in understanding the workings of the human brain. She also learned that she needed to design more control into her life.

After exploring what was important to her over a few months, Shefali knew her purpose.“I get a lot of energy when I am invited to be in someone\’s life,” she says with enthusiasm. “To partner with someone on their journey is a huge joy contributor in my life. It gives me a lot of flow.” With her husband’s reassurance, she jumped in, started from zero and never looked back.

As a coach, Shefali’s goal is to align people with their passion and purpose. She invites us to consider the panoramic view, working on both the big picture and what brings meaning in the short term. While her coaching conversations may begin with the things going on at work, they very quickly move into resilience, wellbeing and presence in all parts of life. For her, happiness is a practice to be activated day by day. Enabling that release of dopamine, small doses of joy, slowly changes the flavor of how you feel. It is this happiness that enables intentionality.

“Reframe your brain,” she explains. “At the end of the day, life is really about what your thoughts are focused on. It\’s the movie you are making of what\’s happening. Once you let go of the labels and judgments, you’re in the land of liberation.”

She went on, “It’s in the little things like how you receive a compliment. Do you say, ‘Oh no, it just happened.’ Or do you say, ‘Absolutely! Thank you. The sun rises from the east and I am amazing!’ My husband laughs at me because I\’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I am so amazing!’ When I stopped thinking about what others think of me, my inner voice completely changed. It became clear that I bring value and nothing can change that.”

It is all in the story that we tell ourselves. Shefali encourages us to separate from the one entrenched in our brain. For her, your power lies in a deep sense of intrinsic value in yourself. It is up to us to flip our power switch “on.”

“There is this Rumi quote,” she elaborates. “‘Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.’ I assume that everything is going to be good and that I will get through whatever comes my way. Of course I’ll do the work. But my overarching view is optimistic.”

The secret to Shefali’s optimism is that she is open to starting from zero. She believes that everything is transient and that it is better to hold onto things lightly, not tightly. Having grown up in an army family, she moved from school to school. After marriage, she moved from country to country.

“I don\’t feel too attached to anything because life is an adventure. We\’ll be fine through it but let’s not get too invested. I have a sense of hope and optimism for the alternative future. Be curious, be connected, understand the world. You are enough in wherever you are. Your body and brain learn to carry your roots with you. I feel my connection to myself and it is a very deep alignment.”

Shefali is actively constructing her portfolio life. She is an investor and a neuroscience nerd. She loves traveling with her husband and dog. She is currently digging into her “cognitive fun” with a keen interest in the human health span and experimenting with approaches to longevity. She’s also considering powerlifting and yes, Bollywood dance. Her greatest fun, however, is her own work which she is glad to carry with her wherever she may go.

“On a personal level, I\’m proud of eventually deciding not to conform. I conformed without knowing for such a long time. Then I decided that life has to be lived as a series of adventures on my own terms. Not having children was one big bold decision. Now my husband and I are moving towards becoming digital nomads. We have already started living in different places for a couple of months at a time. We are also thinking where we can spend a year and bring our doggie with us.”

She goes on to share another Rumi quote, “When you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”

Shefali’s enthusiasm is palpable. “You have to go live to spark the things that will come your way,” she says. “Active engagement in the world shows you the way. My dad has been navigating a physical illness all of his life. He is still successful in his career as an oncologist. When people go with this ‘day one’ mindset, I find it incredibly inspiring.”

Shefali is striking in her clarity. She carries an open-ended conviction for the future. As our conversation winds down, she reinforces the importance of living intentionally. “There is so much opportunity for life to be so aligned, so elevated, so energized. Coaching involves a lot of mindset, reflection, storytelling and strategy. It\’s a lot of reps around thoughts, feelings and actions. Let’s choose to play out loud and live life out loud,” she says with passion.

Like Marianne Williamson eloquently offers in her poem Our Deepest Fear, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There\’s nothing enlightened about shrinking…As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Shefali Raina is an unbridled light and master of igniting transformation in others. Her journey from corporate leader to executive coach is a testament to the power of self-discovery and intentionality. Her story shows us how optimism and a sense of adventure can open our minds and our futures to joyful possibilities. Shefali encourages us all to let our light shine. Because in doing so, others will be inspired to do the same.

our post here. Do not share a link or attach a word doc


About the Author

Sunaina Mehta

My name is Sunaina Mehta and I am the founder of The Leela Collective. TLC is the passion project that I have been preparing for my entire life. I have been lucky enough to meet read more...

6 Posts | 5,331 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories